A Guide to Non-Big Box Online Grocers in the GTA

As the winter deepens and the stay-home order is in effect, more and more people are looking to buy groceries online. If you’re bored with the usual selection at big box stores like Loblaws, Costco or Walmart, check out these boutique and specialty grocery stores. Their fun and diverse offerings will get you out of your cooking rut and liven up your kitchen experience!

100km Foods

Initially, 100km Foods was a wholesale distributor that connected local farmers to restaurants, but it’s opened up its products for retail market since the pandemic. The company prides itself on fair trading with farmers and active effort on tackling climate change to maintain a sustainable local food system.

You can find both pre-selected boxes which include produce in season or choose your own boxes. There are also dairy and meat products.

The minimum order is $45 with a $6 delivery fee.
Free delivery is on order over $100.

Mama Earth Organics

Photo: Mama Earth Organics

This is a subscription service that sells fresh produce, pantry items and prepared foods. You can customize the frequency and content of your boxes. On its website, you can find fun recipes and instructions on how to use some of the products, so make sure to check that out for more cooking inspirations.

The minimum order is $30.
There is no delivery fee for Toronto and areas within 50 km of Toronto.  

Fresh City Farms

Photo: Fresh City Farms

Fresh City Farms is another organic grocer that curates a selection of fresh produce and prepared foods. You can find many locally crafted beers and wines here too. It has its own farm in Downsview Park and a network of over 20 farmers. Besides the online platform, Fresh City Farms has 8 stores across Toronto and various pickup locations.

The minimum order is $27 and the delivery fees vary between $2.99 and $4.99 depending on the timing.

Summerhill Market

Photo: Summerhill Market

Summerhill Market is a boutique grocery store established since 1954, known for its personalized services and close connection with customers.

Besides fresh produce, the store also has a lot of artisanal prepared foods, ranging from pasta sauces to beef bourguignon and meal kits.

If you’re looking to brighten up your home, check out the flowers and plant sections too!

Summerhill Market offers curbside pick-up from any store location. Shipping fee varies depends on where you live.

Khorak Supermarket

Photo: Khorak Supermarket

This grocery store claims to be Canada’s leading Middle Eastern supermarket with a variety of spices, other pantry items and prepared foods made in-house.

Be prepared to be dazzled by the selection of specialty pastries, desserts and breads. Expect to see many different types of rice too.

There is no minimum order. Some areas in North York & Thorn Hill are eligible for free same-day delivery.

Otherwise, delivery fees vary from $15 to $50.

You can find Khorak Supermarket on UberEats, Doordash and PersaCart.

Pasquale Brothers

Photo: Pasquale Brothers

Established in 1917, Pasquale Brothers supplies Italian imported products to the Toronto area. Among its specialties are vinegars, olive oil, pasta, sauces and charcuterie. There are also curated gift baskets at different price points. Pasquale Brothers offers to both retail and wholesale customers. You can shop in store or online and have a curbside pickup or delivery.

Sombrero Latin Foods

Photo: Sombrero

Sombrero Latin Foods brings flavors from Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean to Canadian homes. You can shop by categories that range from coffee and teas to frozen foods, or by regions, such as Mexico, Argentina or Central America and Caribbean.

Shopping options include pick-up in store and delivery, which is free for orders over $40 in the GTA. Check the store’s website for its detailed delivery route and schedule.

Daily Seafood

If you’re in the mood for a fancy meal, why not choose some lobsters at Daily Seafood? The store now sells both to wholesale and retail customers. It offers Canadian-caught seafood from Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, as well as imported fish from Japan and New Zealand. To accompany your seafood, pick from the store’s 10 house marinades.

Photo: Daily Seafood

The minimum order is $80 with a flat delivery fee of $10. Any order over $120 will be eligible for free shipping.

Nations Fresh Foods

Photo: Nations Fresh Foods

You can find all sorts of Asian groceries here, with produce grown locally, as well as frozen food and snacks imported from Vietnam, the Philippines, Korea to Japan. The deli section also has a lot of options to choose from.

You can order groceries from Nations on the GOcery delivery app. The chain has an app which notifies you when a new weekly flyer is in. It can also be used to keep track of your shopping list.

HaiSue

Photo: HaiSue

This online store is a one-stop shop for all Asian food products, particularly snacks, instant noodles and condiments. Their prices are a little bit higher than other Asian grocery stores, but it’s all worth the convenience and the wide selection of dried goods that is harder to come by. HaiSue delivers to all Canadian provinces, with free shipping for order over $125.

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